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Chapter: Obstetric and Gynecological Nursing : Normal Pregnancy

Examination of the Pregnant Woman at First Visit

Objective: · To diagnose pregnancy · To identify high risk pregnancy · To give advice for pregnant mother

Examination of the Pregnant Woman at First Visit




·           To diagnose pregnancy


·           To identify high risk pregnancy


·           To give advice for pregnant mother 


General Appearance


As she walks in, observe any deformity, stunted growth, limp etc. does she look well or pale and tired?

Clinical Observation

 Height; - 150 cm or less needs special care.



Weight:-The average weight gain during pregnancy is about12-14 kg in the first trimester a woman should gain o.4 kg per month and in the second and third trimester she should gain 0.4 kg per week. It is Concedred as excessive if it is more than 3 kg a month during the second and third trimester; it is lessthan normal if it is less than 1 kg per month during the second and third trimester. Women who are under weigth coming in to pregnancy should gain more weigth than the average (0.5 kg per month or week rather than 0.4 kg). And may gains lessthan average (0.3 kg). Sudden increase in weight that suggests fliud retention or a loss of weight tht suggests illness should be carefully evaluated at prenatal visits.



Blood pressure: - Checked and recorded at each visit,



Physical Examination:-

 Appearance: - The hair of a healthy woman is shining andglossy, her eyes bright and clear,

Face: - Oedema, sign of anaemia


Neck - Swollen glands


Breast Examination


Asses the size, any Lumps in the breast


Nipples are they inverted or flat?


Teach the mother self - examination of the Breast



Heart and lungs are examined as usual to exclude diseases.


Abdominal Examination




·              To observe signs of pregnancy


·              To assess fetal size and growth


·              To assess fetal health


·              To diagnose the location of fetal parts.


·              To detect any deviation from normal.



Steps for Abdominal Examination


1.              Inspection


2.              Palpation


3.              Auscultation



Inspection (5s)


a)     Shape:-


·                 Note contour -is it round, oval, irregular or pendulous?


·                 Longtudinal, ovoid in primigravida


·                 Rround in multipara.


·                 Broad in transuerse lie.


b) Size:- Should correspond with the supposed period ofgestation


c) Skin: - The dark line of pigmentation which is lineanigra isseen any rash?


d) Strae gravidarum


e) Scar - Any operation scar(c/s)


On Palpation:


1. Fundal height and fundal palpation (1st Leopoled Maneuver)


1.1 Fundal Height


At about 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy, the uterus is palpated above the symphysis pubis as a firm globular sphere; it reaches the umbilicus at 20 to 22 weeks, the xyphoid process at 36 weeks, and then often returns to about 4 cm below the xyphiod due to “lightening” at 40 weeks.


Method: Measure distance of fundus with points on abdomenand assessing the fundal height in finger breadth below the xiphisternum or measure by centimeter.


1.2 Fundal Palpation


Purpose- To know lie and presentation.


Method: - Use 2 hands using palms of hands palpate oneither side of the fundus. Fingers held close together, palpate the upper pole of then uterus and feel that as it is hard or soft or irregular.

Figure:12 Fundal palpation

2. Lateral Palpation: (2nd Leopled maneuver)

Purpose-To know lie and position


Method: - always facing the mother, fix the hand on thecenter of the abdomen, fix the right hand and palpate with left hand and vise versa. Note the regularity; the regular side is the back.

Figure ; 13 Lateral palpation


3. Deep pelvic Palpation: (3rd Leopoled Maneuver)

Purpose -To Know Presentation & Attitude


Method: - Feel presenting part, is it hard or soft whilepalpatingfor the presenting part feel for eminences on back side.


Figure 14: Deep pelvic palpation


4. Pawlick's Grip: (4th  Leopard Maneuver)

 The lower pole of the uterus is grasped with the right hand the midwife facing the women's head, feel the occiput and sinciput, note which is lower.

Figure 15. Pwlick’s grip 


Auscultation: Check Fetal heart, rate and rhythm, count forone minute if regular.

Method: Use Pinards stethoscope


·     hand should not touch it while listening,


·     ear must be in close from contact with stethoscope,



Pelivic assessement


·                 By x-ray of the pelvis


·                 Clinical (assessing sign of contracted pelvis)


·                 Head fitting


Head fitting


The head is the best pelvimeter


METHOD 1: Head fitting, sitting patient, Method

 Let her lie on a couch, place hand on the Symphysis pubes and get the woman to sit up by her own effort. The effort should force the head in to the pelvis.


METHOD 2 : Left hand grip method Grasp the fetal head withleft hand and push it down wards and backwards if a sense of give is felt the head has entered and there is no over and no cephalo pelvic disproportion.


Genito-Urinary System


·                 Frequency of micturation


·                 Check for abnormal discharge


Circulatory System


Varicosities: - Varicose veins may occur in the legs, anus(hemorrhoids) and vulva. Vulval varicosities are rare and very painful.


The Vulva


·                 Vulval warts


·                 Purulent irritating discharge


The Lower Limbs


Examine for bones alignment and deformities.


Check pitting oedema in the lower limbs by applying fingertip pressure for 10 seconds over the tibial bone.


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Obstetric and Gynecological Nursing : Normal Pregnancy : Examination of the Pregnant Woman at First Visit |

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